|#150 KenPom||Rankings||#1 AP, #1 USA TODAY, #1 KenPom|
|Justin Wright-Foreman (23.0 PPG)||Leading Scorer||Jalen Brunson (18.5 PPG)|
|Justin Wright-Foreman (2.5 APG)||Leading Assister||Jalen Brunson (4.8 APG)|
|Rokas Gustas (10.7 RPG)||Leading Rebounder||Omari Spellman (7.5 RPG)|
|50.5% (Off.) | 53.9% (Def.)||eFG%||59.5% (Off.) | 47.8% (Def.)|
|18.7%(Off.) | 17.9% (Def.)||TO%||16.1% (Off.) | 20.7% (Def.)|
|34.2% (Off.) | 29.5% (Def.)||OR%||30.5% (Off.) | 23.8% (Def.)|
|34.8% (Off.) | 33.6% (Def.)||FTRate||34.1% (Off.) | 19.8% (Def.)|
|47.8% (Off.) | 53.4% (Def.)||2PT FG%||58.1% (Off.) | 48.0% (Def.)|
|36.5% (Off.) | 36.6% (Def.)||3PT FG%||40.9% (Off.) | 31.5% (Def.)|
How to Watch
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Watch Online: FOX Sports GO
Spread: Villanova opened as 21-point favorites. The line is now at 20 in some locales.
O/U: The total is at 150.5 or 151, location pending.
Records ATS: Hofstra (3-4) | Villanova (7-3-1)
The Villanova Wildcats are seeking a perfect run through nonconference play for the second year in a row and third time in the last four seasons. At 11-0, Villanova has mowed through their opponents with relative ease. The last time we saw them, they took care of business in Big 5 play yet again, owning the Temple Owls at the Liacouras Center 87-67.
The Wildcats will hit the only other arena in New York that they’ll play in this season on Friday night. They’ll head to Long Island on Friday night to battle the Hofstra Pride at Nassau Coliseum. Hofstra holds some significance to head coach Jay Wright, of course, as he began his head coaching career there in 1994. Wright accumulated 122 of his 396 career wins with the Pride in that stretch, which included a berth in the NIT and two straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Those two showings in the Big Dance were the prelude to his Villanova career, which of course has been much ballyhooed.
The Pride come into this matchup with the top team in the land at 7-4. Before dropping their last game to Manhattan, they were on a four-game win streak. The Pride picked up wins against Molloy (who you may remember from an earlier encounter with St. John's, Monmouth, Rider and Stony Brook. Their other three losses came at the hands of the Clemson Tigers, Auburn Tigers and Siena Saints. Their wins have come against teams ranked no better than 135th in KenPom and no worse than 309th (with the exception of DII Molloy).
Hofstra’s primary source of offense is junior guard Justin Wright-Foreman. The Queens native is third in the country in Minutes% at 94.5 percent. He’s played 40 minutes four times this year, 39 minutes once, and 38 minutes three times as well. On the year, Wright-Foreman is the team’s leading scorer and assist man, racking up 23.0 points and 2.5 assists per game. The 23.0 PPG lead the Colonial Athletic Association so far this year by a hearty margin of 3.2 points over James Madison Dukes guard Stuckey Mosley.
Wright-Foreman has shot 41.0 percent from the field and a meager 32.7 percent from 3-point land. However, he’s averaged 78.8 percent from the free throw line, so he’s definitely making his chances count to a point.
Hofstra has another double figures scorer in sophomore Eli Pemberton. Pemberton, a native of Middletown, Connecticut and a former attendee of Cheshire Academy, has averaged 16.9 points per game through the team’s first 11 contests. He’s the team’s best threat from beyond the arc, with a 3-point percentage of 44.9 percent. He averages around five 3-point shots per game this year, so Villanova will certainly have to account for him on the perimeter in this game.
Down low, Rokas Gustys has been the team’s best rebounder. The Lithuanian senior has posted OR and DR percentages of 16.3 and 24.7 percent this season. The former is 18th-best in the country, while the latter cracks the Top 100 at 73rd. He’s had eight games in which he’s posted double digits in rebounds this season, including two 15-board efforts in a loss to Siena and a win against Molloy.
‘Nova is a heavy favorite in this game, and probably for good reason. The Wildcats have shown nary a weakness this season, besides maybe their slow starts every now and then. They’ve blazed the net with remarkable efficiency so far this season. They have six players with 3-point percentages of at least 39.5 percent, five over 40 percent, three over 46 percent and one, in Jalen Brunson, who has one over 50 percent (53.5 percent to be exact). They’re 4-1 against the spread in their last five games, and it would probably be a good bet to say they’ll be 5-1 after Friday night.
Prediction: Villanova 85, Hofstra 62